“Yes. Of course. But yet. Anyway.”

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Harper’s Magazine interviews Leslie Jamison about her debut, home-run collection of essays, The Empathy Exams: Essays. On the complications (and yet! necessity) of empathy, Jamison writes:

So there’s a lot of danger attached to empathy: it might be self-serving or self-absorbed; it might lead our moral reasoning astray, or supplant moral reasoning entirely. (See this fantastic piece by Paul Bloom in The New Yorker.) But do I want to defend it, despite acknowledging this mess? More like: I want to defend it by acknowledging this mess. Saying: Yes. Of course. But yet. Anyway.


Sarah Edwards lives in New York. You can find her virtually (at her blog, scedwards.tumblr.com or twitter, @eddy_sarah) or at the pie shop she works at in Brooklyn, where she would definitely like to serve you a piece of pie. More from this author →